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Man dies from Covid-19 in Waikato Hospital, one new case at border

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 16/09/2020
a man wearing a suit and tie © RNZ /Dom Thomas

A man has died from Covid-19 in Waikato Hospital and there is one new case in managed isolation, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the man, Nigel Te Hiko, was in his 50s and passed away yesterday afternoon.

His brother, Alan Te Hiko, also died from the coronavirus earlier this month.

Nigel Te Hiko, a revered Raukawa leader and historian, lived in Tokoroa and contracted the virus from his brother who worked at Americold.

a screenshot of a cell phone © RNZ

"His whānau have asked us to tell New Zealand coronavirus is 'so real' and to be vigilant and cautious," Dr Bloomfield said.

"They have issued a plea to all New Zealanders that if you are sick and have symptoms to stay home and seek advice about getting a test."

Dr Bloomfield says the man's death emphasises the seriousness of this virus.

"Our thoughts are with this man's family and friends."

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

The new Covid-19 case in managed isolation is a woman who arrived from Dubai. There are no new community cases.

Dr Bloomfield says three people are in hospital and two are in intensive care.

There are 57 people linked to the Auckland community cluster who remain in an Auckland quarantine facility and that includes 27 people who have tested positive as well as household contacts.

Since the first case was identified in the Auckland cluster, contact tracing teams have identified 4139 close contacts of cases, of which 4046 have been contacted and are self-isolating, says Bloomfield.

"We are in the process of contacting the rest."

The total number of active cases is 79, 27 of those are imported cases.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 1451.

Yesterday 9088 Covid tests were processed.

The Auckland healthcare worker at a quarantine facility who tested positive has been epidemiologically linked to one of the community cases who was being cared for in the quarantine facility.

The healthcare worker provided care to that person ahead of hospitalisation.

Close contacts of the worker, 85 of them, have been identified from the gym sessions at Les Mills Takapuna.

All have been contacted and are self-isolating, says Dr Bloomfield.

Eighty of them have returned a negative test.

Dr Bloomfield says 195 casual contacts have been contacted.

He says the facility where the healthcare worker got Covid-19 has very strict protocols.

On whether Covid is becoming politicised, Dr Bloomfield says "I'm not a politician, I'm a public servant".

a screenshot of a cell phone: No caption © Provided by Radio New Zealand No caption

Photo: RNZ

Ministry of Health figures show targets for getting 80 percent of contacts of people with Covid-19 in isolation within four days of being exposed to the disease were not being met. However contact-tracing teams are far exceeding the goal to reach 80 percent of an infected person's contacts within 48 hours, reaching 95 percent on average.

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

Yesterday three new cases of Covid-19 were reported, all in managed isolation.

Two inmates and 20 Corrections staff at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo were in isolation, after the household contact of a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.


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